Temporal Patterns of Pair Formation and Reproduction in Annual Cycles and Associated Endocrinology in Waterfowl

  • Cynthia K. Bluhm
Part of the Current Ornithology book series (CUOR, volume 5)


When breeding and nesting behavior in birds is considered within the larger framework of the annual cycle, it is evident that reproduction may be tightly linked to the progression and timing of preceding events, such as migration and molt. Furthermore, when the physiological bases of the separate events in the annual cycle are then considered and interwoven, yet another dimension of relationships emerges. The relationships are those of physiological systems that control cycles of molt, migration, and gonadal growth. This is not, however, a novel approach, and it has been advocated by others (Farner and Follett, 1966, 1979; Lofts and Murton, 1968, 1973; Wingfield and Farner, 1980). The main purpose of this review is to integrate the recent advances in environmental endocrinology and behavioral ecology of waterfowl. The Anatidae comprise a family of related species that exhibit different ecological requirements, variable social behavior, and diversity in the temporal relationships between pair formation and nesting. My first objective is to summarize the recent literature on temporal chronology of reproduction of waterfowl to determine what general patterns exist. My second objective is to provide a review of the current knowledge of reproductive endocrinology of waterfowl for all stages of the annual cycle. An integration of the two areas should reveal new insights about differences in physiology and their relationship to reproductive strategies.


Clutch Size Pair Formation Snow Goose Canada Goose Domestic Duck 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cynthia K. Bluhm
    • 1
  1. 1.Delta MarshManitobaCanada

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